Coronavirus (665) Uncertainty amidst COVID-19 (8)

25 May, 2020

Dear all,

As frustrating as it may be to see nonsense on the web, there are dangers in trying to suppress it. Science – looking at evidence from all angles, raising questions, debating - can resolve many things over time.

Here’s an example: Imperial College London estimated 40 million people around the world would die of Covid 19 in 2020 if nothing was done. Is Imperial College spreading misinformation by leaving that estimate on its website? Maybe. But let’s appreciate competing views.

Here’s another competing view: A recent paper posted by UNU WIDER calculates that if Covid 19 death rates by age are the same in Kenya as in Italy, Kenya’s overall death rate from Covid 19 would be only 9% of Italy’s due to Kenya’s much younger population (see Table 1 and the last para on page 6 in:

If we think about people around the world, in different countries, and with different incomes and jobs -- who and how many are in more danger from policy responses to Covid 19 than they are from Covid 19? What options are there for policy responses to Covid 19 that would be less harmful? 

Debates can inform. Let’s appreciate a world where people have access to multiple points of view and so are able to think for themselves.

HIFA profile: David Gisselquist is an independent consultant in the United States and has a professional interest in nosocomial risks and transmission of HIV in Africa, agricultural development and agricultural inputs regulation, environment. Email address: david_gisselquist AT